October 12, 2015
Joan Galvan, Public Information Officer
SBCC Announces Upcoming Retirement of President Lori Gaskin
Santa Barbara City College announced today that President Lori Gaskin will retire from the college effective August 1, 2016. She has led the college since July 2012 and will leave the California Community College system next August with a combined 35 years of service, both as faculty and as an academic leader.
SBCC District Board President Marianne Kugler said, “During her tenure, Lori has provided exemplary leadership to the college reflected in her demonstrated abilities for creating participative decision-making structures, for developing planning processes, and for building strong operational programs which lead to student success. I especially commend Lori for her unwavering commitment to focus on the whole student including their health, well-being and welfare.” Dr. Kugler added, “On behalf of our entire Board, we thank Lori for having served the college and our students and the entire community with such knowledge, decisiveness, and grace. She will be greatly missed.”
Dr. Gaskin joined SBCC in July 2012 from West Valley College in Saratoga (Calif.) where she served as president for three years. During her tenure at SBCC, the college was named the national co-winner of the prestigious 2013 Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence.
In the past three years, Dr. Gaskin has led a number of significant planning, governance and decision-making initiatives such as the creation of the Education Master Plan, the foundation for the Facilities Master Plan and the “One College – Three Campuses” initiative, which has been designed to integrate the college’s educational programs across the Main, Schott and Wake campuses.
Dr. Gaskin is credited with giving focus and leadership to urgent facility modernization needs and overseeing the building of the West Campus Classroom and Office Building, the last facility associated with Measure V bond funds. She has been an advocate for fiscal transparency, for community/student concerns around transportation, housing and neighborhood well-being, and for the college’s work in student access, equity and success as a means of fostering sustainable practices to strengthen the students’ journey through the college.
She also has been widely acknowledged for emphasizing an inclusive culture at the college through open dialogue, collaboration and participatory governance at every level of the organization.
In September 2015, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges conducted its annual six-year accreditation site visit to SBCC. During the preliminary findings noted in the exit interview, the ACCJC team gave the college an exemplary 11 commendations and four recommendations after the three-day visit.
In the community, Dr. Gaskin serves on the boards of Cottage Health System and Partners in Education and on the Advisory Councils for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara and YMCA. She also is a working member of the IV Safe Committee and on the steering committees for the Santa Barbara County Re-Entry Project, Fighting Back, South Coast Executives, and the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Gaskin began her 35-year relationship with the California Community College System as a part-time faculty member at Barstow College. Academically trained as a fluvial geomorphologist, she discovered her true calling very quickly as a community college earth science teacher. As a tenured faculty member at Barstow College, Dr. Gaskin taught in the fields of geography, geology, and mathematics and served in faculty leadership roles at the college before migrating north in 1992 to Lake Tahoe Community College. At Lake Tahoe, she served in a number of academic leadership positions including Dean of Instruction and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
In announcing her retirement, Dr. Gaskin said, “Teaching and then leading within the community college environment has been the greatest gift I have ever received. Thinking ahead, my vision for SBCC’s 2015- 2016 academic year is to continue advancing our equity and success efforts, scaling our exceptionally effective teaching, learning, and support practices, seeking to reach more of the middle majority of our students with support and intervention, and meeting the needs of faculty, management and staff so that they are able to continue the fine work that has long fueled this extraordinary institution.”
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